The U.S. Senate is busy preparing legislation to reinstate the military draft, as America faces the inevitability of war with Iraq.
On Jan. 7, U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings introduced the Universal National Service Act of 2003.
Andy Davis, spokesperson for Sen. Hollings’ office said the bill would reinstate the military draft and mandate either military or civilian service for every U.S. citizen and permanent resident, aged 18-26.
“The legislation authorizes President Bush to establish the number of people to be selected for military service and the means of selection.”
Davis said the measure requires those not selected specifically for military service to perform their national service obligation in a civilian capacity for at least two years.
The legislation, which includes women, has created concern for many female students at FAMU. Katrina White, 20, a sophomore business administration student from Harrisburg, Pa., disagrees with the bill.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea because there are enough people that voluntarily go into the military,” White said.
“I don’t think the draft would be necessary. I also wouldn’t want to interrupt my college education.”
According to Maj. Willie A. Jackson of FAMU’s Army ROTC program, the draft could affect all the males on the campus under the current Selective Service law from the Vietnam era.
“Because all males must register with Selective Service 30 days after their 18th birthday, everyone who is registered can be drafted,” Jackson said.
According to Selective Service, males not registered may be penalized up to $250,000 or up to five years in jail. It also requires that “only sons, the last son to carry the family name and sole surviving sons must register and can be drafted.
Jackson said that only Army ROTC Cadets who are not either on standby with the Reserves or National Guard would not be drafted.
“ROTC Cadets are under contract and have already made a promise to the government to serve in the Army after their graduation,” Jackson said.
Fortunately, according to the Selective Service system, the draft is reinstated in times of a crisis that requires more troops than the volunteer military can supply.
U.S. Army Reserve 1st Sgt. Rory Jenkins, said that a draft does not appear to be necessary now.
“I don’t feel there’s a need for a draft,” Jenkins said.